Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has revealed that the Scuderia “had a proposal” to hire Mercedes executive and technical director Paddy Lowe but eventually opted against it in the name of stability.
Ferrari failed to win a grand prix for the second time in three years in 2016. The Maranello-based outfit also saw technical director James Allison leave during the summer and promoted engine boss Mattia Binotto in the subsequent overhaul.
Speaking to the Italian media at Ferrari’s Christmas lunch, Marchionne told reporters that the Scuderia’s in-season restructuring meant the input from Lowe, who has overseen Mercedes’ triple championship doubles in the latest turbo era, was not needed.
“We had a proposal, but the role was already covered,” the Ferrari boss was quoted as saying by La Reppublica.
“We are not looking for a Ross Brawn-like saviour who can solve all the problems. Together, we can pull through by working the right way. I don’t want to be constantly changing the team.”
Marchionne had high goals for the Scuderia entering the 2016 season, saying failure to win a title would be “a tragedy”. The 64-year-old admitted he was “incautious” and says he won’t make any grand promises for next year.
“Now I only want us to do better than in 2016, which doesn't seem hard to me,” Marchionne added.
“Should we continue not to win, then the blame lies at my feet. I’ve already told Ferrari fans who approach me on the street and complain about our win drought: 'that’s my mistake, wait for 2017'.
“I am confident about the new car, confident that we have taken action and done a good job in all areas, starting with the aerodynamics.”